Stone monument on house foundation of family killed at My Lai

Stone monument on house foundation of family killed at My Lai

A grey stone monument rests on a house foundation of a local family killed at My Lai on March 16, 1968. The inscription on the monument, written in both Vietnamese and English reads, "Foundation of Mr. Lè Lý's house burnt by U.S. soldiers - 7 of his family members were murdered." This statement is followed by a list of seven names and the ages of each family member killed. A ceramic urn filled with incense sticks rests at the base of the monument. At age 70, Mr. Lè Lý was the oldest male of the household. The list of names and ages inscribed on the stone suggests that he lived with his wife, one adult son, the son's wife, and three grandchildren.

In 1968, U.S. forces considered the My Lai area to be a stronghold of Communist Vietnamese fighters (known as Vietcong) and their sympathizers. Repeated bombing of the region only increased the support of local civilians for the Communist fighters. After an order was given to U.S. troops to attack My Lai Village, American soldiers killed hundreds of mostly women, children, and elderly with brutal methods.

Photographs and reports about the atrocities at My Lai led many Americans who thought little about the Vietnam War to conclude that it was not a war they wished to support. Increasingly, the U.S. government decided to reduce civilian killings and military deployments in Vietnam. American forces gradually were withdrawn and then the southern capital of Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese Communist forces on April 30, 1975.

<img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://statelibrarync.org/learnnc/sites/default/files/images/vietnam_120.jpg" width="1024" height="683" alt="Stone monument on house foundation of family killed at My Lai" title="Stone monument on house foundation of family killed at My Lai" />
Usage Statement: 

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

This item has a Creative Commons license for re-use.  The Creative Commons BY NC SA license means that you may use, remix, tweak, and build upon the work for non-commerical purposes purposes as long as you credit the original creator and as long as you license your new creation using the same license. That means that you cannot alter it. For more information about Creative Commons licensing and a link to the license, see full details at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/.

Add a comment

PLEASE NOTE: NCpedia will not publish personal contact information in comments, questions, or responses. If you would like a reply by email, please note thats some email servers are blocked from accepting messages from outside email servers or domains. These often include student email addresses from public school email accounts. If you prefer not to leave an email address, check back at your NCpedia comment for a reply. Please allow one business day for replies from NCpedia. Complete guidelines are available at http://ncpedia.org/comments.